FEA: Splitting Quadrilateral Elements | Quality fixing for thinshell elements in FEA meshing | Ansys, Hypermesh, Solidworks, Nastran

To get accurate results, quality fixing of 2D thin shell element is inevitable in meshing task. Apart from dragging the nodes to solve the quality errors and warning, we can also split the Quad elements into triangular elements to solve the error.

Note that, this method should be done only if the quality cannot be solved by dragging the nodes of quad element.

Usually the pre-processor like Hypermesh, Ansys, Solidworks, NX etc has a manual Meshing sub panel includes two following options for splitting quadrilateral elements:
  • Split Diagonal → splits a quadrilateral element into two triangular elements.
  • Split Quad → splits a quadrilateral element into four quadrilateral elements.

We  can split quadrilateral thin shell, plane strain, plane stress, plate, or membrane elements.

The two or four new elements:
  • have the same attributes as the original element, such as thickness and material properties, family, and direction of the normal
  • have new element labels

Note: If the element er split is associated with geometry, the two resulting elements will also be associated with the geometry.